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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Carmen Amato's 43 Missing is the sixth book in the Detective Emilia Cruz series, a fascinating read in the genre of murder and mystery. The police arrested 43 students in a southern city, and not one of them has ever been accounted for. They all disappeared. Now, Detective Emilia Cruz joins a task force with not-so-skilled and poorly equipped agents to investigate one of the most unpopular crimes in Mexico. Follow this phenomenal character as she sifts through evidence, gets to witnesses that can’t be trusted, and runs into dead ends. Emilia’s focus on El Acólito, a criminal with a sinister rape history, becomes an obsession at a time that some powerful people are doing all they can to distract her or get her to completely stop the investigation. What are the stakes? Does she have the guts to carry this investigation to the end, or is $50,000 worth more than the truth?
Carmen Amato’s protagonist is a compelling police officer, a woman who has gone for years without taking a break. In fact, in 12 years she’s taken just two breaks, and they were required breaks because she was injured. She is a character that is developed with depth and a solid background, a female protagonist that readers will root for—they’ll love her. Other supporting characters are well-imagined and they reflect strong backgrounds as well. Carmen Amato’s 43 Missing is suspenseful and the author knows how to make readers feel that something could happen any moment soon. And something always does happen, something the reader never imagined, even faintly. The story features great writing, stimulating conversations, and a setting that plunges the reader into the very heart of Mexican culture, the crime-riddled streets, and exciting places. This book is brilliantly plotted and magnetic.